Panel: Becoming a Leader, Growing as a Leader, and Mentoring Future Leaders

  • Discussing some of the unique challenges and opportunities involved in rising to a leadership position in a constantly evolving professional discipline
  • Understanding the leader’s role as a force to shape and demonstrate corporate culture within our organizations
  • What does effective leadership look like on the day-to-day basis, as well as when thinking about the big picture?
  • Illustrating how we invest in ourselves and in our teams to improve ourselves both professionally and personally
  • Offering examples of strong and effective programs in onboarding, cross-training, upskilling, job shadowing, mentorship, and continuing education that make the difference

Mel Crocker
Air Canada

Mel Crocker is Air Canada’s Vice President and Chief Information Officer, with overall responsibility for the Information Technology systems that support and enable Air Canada’s global business. In this role, Mel oversees all dimensions of planning, building, operating, and evolving the systems that allow Air Canada to remain safe, secure, reliable, and competitive.

Mel joined Air Canada in 2018, and prior to his appointment as Chief Information Officer in September 2021, he held various senior positions within the Information Technology team, driving the evolution of major enterprise systems, establishing key process improvements, and achieving transformational changes. Before joining Air Canada, he was the Vice President of Enterprise Services and Chief Information Security Officer at Enbridge. Prior to his time in IT, Mel was in the defense industry, holding a combination of technical and leadership roles in General Dynamics and the Canadian Army.

Mel has a Bachelor of Mathematics and Physics and a Master of Software Engineering from the Royal Military College of Canada.

Viral Vyas
Director of IT for Global Clinical Development
Bristol Myers Squibb

Viral Vyas is an accomplished IT executive with a distinctive blend of knowledge in science, information technology, and management. With a deep understanding of pharmaceutical research and development, Viral is passionate about improving patients’ lives by aligning IT and business strategies. He is widely recognized as an authentic leader and trusted advisor, known for his ability to drive change and digital transformation efforts internally and externally. He excels in leadership, building, growing, and motivating professionals at all levels of the organization.

Viral currently holds the position of Director of IT for Global Clinical Development at Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS), where he is responsible for devising innovative strategies to enable scientists to deliver lifesaving medicines to patients faster. He achieved significant business value by leading a program/project that established a digital platform for ingesting, transforming, conforming, and reporting biomarker data from clinical trials. He also developed technology strategies that resulted in savings of $10 million during Celgene integrations with BMS.

Viral holds a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Florida, a Master’s in Information Systems from the Stevens Institute of Technology, and a Bachelor’s in Microbiology from the University of Florida.

Tai Phan
Head of Product Transformation & Consumer Innovation – Global Tech & Healthcare
Walgreens Boots Alliance